Powers Ridge Condo HOA has been asked to allow a resident to setup a Butterfly Garden. We could use some advice on feasibility. The area is adjacent to our fountain. It would be approximately 25 ft. by 25 ft. Delineated by rock shrub or railroad ties. I have a county surveyors map that shows the area Lake Drive West and Powers Blvd. It is a PDF and not one of your image options. Our questions are: 1. What would be the cost of installation and maintenance of this garden. 2. Is this a feasible site. Milk weed would be the major planting. Any assistance that you could give us would be greatly appreciated. Connie Long, Board member
Hennepin County Minnesota
Dear Ms. Long,
Thank you for writing.
Here is an excellent resource for you https://extension.umn.edu/landscape-design/creating-butterfly-garden#common-butterflies-and-their-caterpillar-food-plants-1258360
Many butterlies like the plants that grow in rain gardens consider that in your plans as well. https://extension.umn.edu/landscape-design/rain-gardens
There is a very strong consensus against using railway ties or other chemically treated wood in gardens because of creosote and other chemicals in the wood. https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/w-hhw1-34.pdf
For creating landscape interest, berms (low hills) or edged beds or container boxes are all possible. https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/raised-bed-gardens#containerized-raised-beds-881262
The cost is hard to estimate. Plant prices are dropping now after the spring rush, garden sales by clubs and fairs should be taken advantage of. Also, approach the neighborhood associations, most gardeners are always splitting plants and have lots to share. I am sorry to not be of more help on cost. A garden is a long term project. If you get a roughed in and interesting design of perhaps some berms, perhaps a lower rain garden and a few plants this year, it will grow like stone soup over years to come.